Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Vegan Devonshire Tea Scones


Our Devonshire Tea on Sunday was a great success. A special thanks to our volunteers Emma and Tracie who put in so much work creating our wonderful scones. They have kindly shared their recipes below so you can make some, too.

Recipe One: Three Ingredient Lemonade Scones

Preheat oven to 180 C (with fan) or 200 C.

- Ingredients:

 -3 1/2 cups of self raising flour

- 1 cup vegan cream - we used coconut cream in the can. Refrigerate the can and take the thick cream off the top, leaving the clear liquid

- 1 cup of lemonade

- Jam to serve

Method: 

- Combine flour, cream and lemonade in a bowl and mix until flour is mostly combined. The dough should be soft and sticky.

- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead around 5 times to combine dough. Pat into a disc shape.

-  Use a cutter to cut out your scones. Remember to flour the cutter in-between to stop sticking.

- Place on a tray and brush the tops with your choice of milk. 

- Bake for 15 minutes. When golden, place on a rack to cool. Place a tea towel over the top to stop them drying out. 


 Recipe Two: Vegan Scones

Preheat oven to 210 C.

Ingredients:

- 3 1/2 cups of self raising flour

- 1 cup of soy milk 

- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 

- 3/4 cup of lemonade

Method:

- Sift flour into a bowl. 

- In a separate bowl, place the milk and apple cider vinegar together and let stand for about five minutes. 

- Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the mixed milk and apple cider vinegar into the well of the flour, along with the lemonade. 

- Mix just enough to so that the ingredients are combined. 

- Turn out on a floured bench and shape into a rectangle shape. Cut out your scones and place on a floured tray. 

- Put the scones next to each other for support during cooking. 

- Cook for 12 to14 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy! 




Wednesday, 28 April 2021

New Arrivals in the Valley

By Chris R. 


Violet Lamb 

We received a call in early April regarding a little lamb in the suburbs, heard shouting loudly from a balcony. Fortunately the little baa-ing bundle was soon attended to by a kind RSPCA officer, who promptly contacted the Sanctuary.


The tiny black and white lamb was quite round in shape and our fears were that the little one was suffering from bloat, so first stop was Farm Animal Services at Murdoch. Thankfully the now named ‘Violet’ was not bloated, rather showing signs of hay belly, and she was cleared to come home to the Sanctuary. 

Volunteer Jemma swung into action as our ovine Uber and her passenger announced her arrival loudly from the back window. 

Violet has fitted in beautifully to Sanctuary life. She is already good friends with Tofu Goat and loves back rubs, always wagging her tail. She also loves attention and treats and we can’t wait for her to join the baby flock of 2021. 

Mike Rooster  

Mike Rooster, a Plymouth Rock cross with some rather handsome feathery legs, found himself at Kalamunda Pound. With time running out and no one coming forward to claim the handsome fellow, Nikki from Ranger services kindly organised Mike’s delivery. Mike is a gentle and somewhat shy guy, but is enjoying life in the Biodome, sharing with new friend Pedro Pigeon.


 

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Vegan Dried Fruit Cookies

 

These cookies are a tasty treat at any time!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of Nuttelex butter (room temperature)

-  1/2 cup of brown sugar (tightly packed)

- 1/2 cup of white sugar

- 1 1/2 cups of plain flour

- 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of soy milk (or other milk of your choice)

- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder

- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

- 1/2 cup of dried fruit (we used sultanas)

- A pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of all spice (amount depends upon how spicy you like your cookies)

Method:  

- Cream the butter and two sugars together.


- In a separate bowl place all dry ingredients except fruit. Stir the ingredients.

- Add the creamed butter and sugar to the dry ingredients and mix.

 

- Slowly add milk to the batter and stir.

- Stir the dried fruit through the batter.


 - Line a baking tray and place spoons of batter on the tray. Leave space between the cookies and they will rise.

- Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the cookies have browned.


 Enjoy!

Vegan Peanut Butter Slice


We are baking again as it is a busy time for events and cake stalls at the Valley. A delicious favourite is this cruelty free Peanut Butter Slice.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of peanut butter (room temperature)

- 1/2  cup of brown sugar

- 1 cup of self-raising flour

- 1 cup of rolled oats

- 2/3 of a cup of soy milk (or your milk of choice)

Method:

- Put the peanut butter in a mixing bowl and mix to loosen the peanut butter (and make it easier to work with).

-  Add the brown sugar to the peanut butter and stir until creamy.


- Add the flour and oats and stir. Add the milk (slowly) while stirring.

- Line a slice baking tray with baking paper. Pour the batter into the tray and even out using the back of a spoon. The slice will rise so allow for this.

- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. 

Peanut butter slice before baking.


After baking.

- Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting. We cooled ours in the fridge. 

With a drizzle of dark chocolate.

- We iced our slice with Sweet William dark chocolate. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the slice. Return to the fridge to harden the chocolate. 


 

 

Monday, 22 March 2021

Fire in the Valley

By Chris R.


On the 1st of February it was a hot and gusty day. With the implementation of a week long Covid lockdown the previous evening, I was feeling fortunate to be working from home given the summery forecast. The fire danger was severe, again, and the animals were hot and restless.  

Around midday, smoke appeared in the east. While organising yet another run of the irrigation to cool the aviaries, this plume, attributed to a structural fire in distant Wooroloo, was growing. The smoke was blowing parallel to the Valley and reports of its farmland location, where it would be ‘easily contained’, provided comfort.  

At around 1.30pm, I moved my laptop to the kitchen to allow a full view of the east while working. The growing smoke plume was distracting, and by 3pm, work was packed up. Another check of the fire map spurred my decision to contact our fire response volunteers, just to be safe.  

At 4.15pm, the Valley received the first of three mobile phone emergency warnings from DFES. Our fire plan was enacted - sheep in the east flock were moved into the runway, carriers were placed near aviaries and the fire pumps again tested. Ten volunteers gathered under the outdoors marquee, making notes while watching the online fire map rapidly change, as did the colour of the sky.



 


One of our volunteers, who also volunteers with the local brigade and was fighting the fire in the east, messaged an update just before 5pm. The wind was growing and a slight change would take the path of the fire directly to our friends at Happy Hooves Sanctuary, just half an hour away.

The decision was made to support the crew at Happy Hooves. We left some volunteers at PVAS with a fire unit in case of a wind change. Seven volis, four vehicles and the Valley’s second fire unit began the journey north, passing ‘road closed’ signs and a sea of floats, trailers and animals all heading in the opposite direction. The smoke was drifting and the sky was orange. The faces of those heading out reflected our own concerns about the rapidly changing situation.

Once at Happy Hooves, plans were discussed, poultry collected and placed in carriers, and the last of the large animals moved to safe open areas.  By 6.30pm, the glow in the south was growing brighter, the faint roar becoming louder and the smell of smoke stonger. It was a long hour watching, waiting and planning – uncertain of  the trajectory of the firey monster reaching the scarp ahead.  Loud bangs were unnerving, and headlights moving out of the fire front were sobering – so many people in so much danger beyond the ridge.  The air support fire fighters headed back to base as nightfall approached. Help from above would not be back until the following morning.



The fire kept a steady westerly direction, moving along the ridge, yet remaining distant from Happy Hooves. Two additional helpers arrived with reports of roads which were accessible, so we mapped our journey back to the Valley in front of the head fire, knowing that HHFS would be safe for the night and we could return to tend the animals at home before all the roads were closed.

It was a long night back at the Valley. Hourly checks of conditions were made, each time we were glad that both PVAS and HHFS were safe. The fire was sitting between the two properties. The roads on which we had travelled just hours earlier were closed, littered with burnt trees and power poles. The fire continued west and more properties were evacuated. Our thoughts stayed with all those in its path and its wake, not realising how far it would actually travel before contained.

On the Tuesday, a message from SAFE Bullsbrook indicated that they were now in danger. All of their animals were evacuated with the exception of three of their biggest goats so we hurriedly hitched up the trailer to collect the important caprine cargo. Billy, Molly and George were soon on the road to the Valley as the smoke in the east continued to grow.  


By Friday, the Wooroloo Fire had travelled 26 km and destroyed 86 human homes and thousands of animal homes.  Paddocks were blackened and fences gone, but already the community was rallying to help those who had lost so much. The impact of the Wooroloo Fire will be felt for months, and years, to come. Possum Valley was safe and received no animals to care for from the blaze. We urge anyone wishing to donate to those affected to see the ‘Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund’ on Facebook.

Possum Valley will be continuing with its bushfire ready activities throughout the coming year and would love help at our monthly ‘Bushfire Ready Busy Bees’. With over 200 animals in care, evacuation is not an option, so being ready for fire is a priority. We would love to see you there!